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BJP sowing seeds of hate in Haryana, says former CM Bhupinder Hooda

Former Haryana chief minister from Congress Bhupinder Hooda said there is a strong yearning for change in the state.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2018 14:39 IST
Sadia Akhtar
Sadia Akhtar
Hindustan Times, Nuh (Mewat)
Former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a recent rally at Anaj Mandi, Punhana.(Yogesh Kumar/HT Photo)

Launching a broadside against Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday said the winds of change were visible as the ruling party was busy “spreading hatred”.

Greeting an impressive crowd with ‘Salaam’ and ‘Ram Ram’ at his third ‘Jan Kranti Yatra’ rally in the Muslim-dominated area in Mewat, Hooda, who is battling corruption charges, said the overwhelming turnout of people braving rain and heat indicated the “strong yearning for change”.

“I will make sure that the BJP is held accountable for all the hardships that the people in the state have been facing,” he said, recalling how farmers and minorities have suffered under the saffron party’s rule.

Hooda spoke about the contribution of Mewatis in the country’s freedom struggle while accusing the BJP of “sowing seeds of hatred” and doing nothing for the region.

“During my tenure, I made efforts to provide education and healthcare in Mewat,” he said and went on to promise a new university and converting Mewat into a model city if the Congress returns to power in Haryana.

Hooda, a Jat, launched the yatra on February 25 from Gujjar-dominated Palwal district (with around 15% of Dalit population) to reach the business community of Punjabi-dominated Panipat — all in a bid to showcase his popularity to the Congress’s high command dealing with factionalism in the party’s state unit.

State Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, a Dalit and Sirsa MP, started Haryana Bachao Parivartan Lao cycle rally after Hooda and other claimants, such as Congress legislature party leader Kiran Choudhry, also started making their presence felt.

Political experts said factionalism was not uncommon for the Congress’s state units. “They have differences among prominent leaders in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well. If this continues in Haryana, it will hurt the Congress,” said Professor Rajendra Sharma, head of the political science department at Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.

Support for Hooda in Mewat was palpable with the crowd cheering his announcements.

“I have come here because I wanted to know what Hooda can offer to the people of Mewat,” 27-year-old Akhlak Ahmad from Otha village in Punhana, said, and added that the BJP government had done nothing for them.

Mohd Israel, 63, from Jamalpur village, said there is always tension among the people under the present government. “During the Congress’s rule, relations between people were much better. There was brotherhood and unity. Congress have importance to all the groups,” he said.

The former chief minister accused the state-level Opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal, of misleading the people by conniving with the BJP.

“The INLD is hand-in-glove with the BJP. Their opposition is only a pretext. If you want to ensure that the BJP government is defeated, you would have to also defeat INLD,” Hooda said.

(Inputs from Hardik Anand in Rohtak)

First Published: Jul 01, 2018 14:39 IST